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Welfare Moms - Should we be supporting moms so they can stay at home with their children? - Page 32

post #621 of 792

60 months is just a goal in my state

post #622 of 792
You are in Florida, right serenbat? Even there TANF has a 60 month lifetime limit for applicants. So I guess you must be referring to just food stamps then.
post #623 of 792
Quote:
You are in Florida, right serenbat?

no I'm not and you mustn't know states do have flexibility

post #624 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitteh View Post

You are in Florida, right serenbat? Even there TANF has a 60 month lifetime limit for applicants. So I guess you must be referring to just food stamps then.

 

 

IIRC, Serenbat's definition of "public assistance" includes TANF, food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, use of a food pantry, unemployment, and even not having health insurance. Serenbat, please do correct me if I've misunderstood...

 

To answer pek64's question, my definition of "temporary" would be "as long as the recipient is in school, working, actively looking for work, or has custody of a minor child." I know that's a lot broader than some other people's definitions.

post #625 of 792

Having no safety net will not encourage people to work.  If you have no food or safe place to sleep, you end up devoting a fair amount of time to finding food and finding a safe place to sleep.  This would only be compounded with children. 

 

Take a look at Maslov's Pyramid:

 

Food and sleep are more important that finding a job.  People only move up the pyramid when lower levels have been met.  

 

post #626 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by glassesgirlnj View Post


IIRC, Serenbat's definition of "public assistance" includes TANF, food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, use of a food pantry, unemployment, and even not having health insurance. Serenbat, please do correct me if I've misunderstood...

To answer pek64's question, my definition of "temporary" would be "as long as the recipient is in school, working, actively looking for work, or has custody of a minor child." I know that's a lot broader than some other people's definitions.

That would mean 'temporary' could be 18 or more years. That's how long a child is a minor.

If it goes beyond 10 years, is that temporary, or a lifestyle choice?
post #627 of 792
I guess for me it depends on what the unemployment rate is. There are times where everyone who wants to work should be able to find a job, and during those times I'd think someone shouldn't be needing assistance for too long, though I'd still understand if a mom wanted to take care of her kids rather than take a job and hand all the money to someone to watch her kids rather than actually improving her home situation. But right now, there are fewer jobs than there are people wanting to work, so there will be people on and off various forms of assistance until there are more jobs available. I guess "temporary" would mean as temporary as the economic downturn is. And then of course there are people who find jobs but the jobs don't pay enough for them to be able to feed their families. If someone is working full time, they shouldn't need assistance, but that's an issue with how poorly some jobs pay and not with the people receiving assistance. I guess I don't have a quick and easy answer for how long is too long because it depends in part on the economy as a whole.
post #628 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post



If it goes beyond 10 years, is that temporary, or a lifestyle choice?

Maybe there is something between temporary and lifestyle choice?

 

There are so many people on welfare (particularly those who are not new to welfare) that have no idea on how to find or keep a job. They don't have the the clothes, the bus tickets, the daycare in place to look for work, the computer to apply for things on, some don't have phones, they do not have job experience or skills, they do not have many role models on people who escaped the poverty cycle….it is hard (and maybe impossible) to find and keep a job in these circumstances.  I am all for programs that help remove barriers to employment so people can work - but I think there needs to be some acknowledgment that people who are on welfare long term are not alway on it by choice….It is a culture they are born into and it is very hard to get out of.

 

This is an international board, so I get programs vary from area to area. 

 

I would say that in Canada at the moment, I suspect most provinces do a poor job at helping people to move out of generational welfare.  There should be more assistance in removing barriers.  It almost seems like the government is happy to give them just enough (or perhaps just less than enough) to feed and cloth people, and forget about them.   I don't know if it is a penny wise but pound foolish move (which is what I suspect) or if people who are generationally poor are actually seen as unemployable, thus the government makes little effort…I just don't know.  

post #629 of 792

Pek, "temporary" means "having a defined end point", doesn't it? I think my answer defined four different end points. Is there something else I can do to help clarify?

I was discussing this thread with my spouse, who made an interesting point - most public assistance / social welfare programs were created not to help the poor, but to protect the rich from getting carted off in tumbrels. What would our society look like if we *didn't* have these programs? (Sure, you could live in a gated community with all the weapons you could stockpile - and then you could hire Tyler Durden as your security guard, I guess...)

Just something for people who want to place more limits on government assistance to think about.

post #630 of 792

OT but interesting.

 

These stats on the working poor are staggering:

 

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/35-statistics-about-the-working-poor-in-america-that-will-blow-your-mind

 

For the past little bit, I have been trying (and perhaps failing) to figure out why people seem to lack compassion for the generational poor.

 

I do think being working poor might actually be harder than welfare poor, so, yeah, I might be ticked off if I were working my butt off for meagre pay and other people were bringing in similar amounts of money (perhaps a little less, but they did not work as hard as me) without working.  

 

I think anger at generational poor is sometimes misplaced, though.  Be ticked off at the government for its poor policies. 

 

In addition to needing more programs to help people move out of the poverty cycle,  we also need:

-universal healthcare (OK, I am Canadian, I have it, i love it, USA should get it!!!)

-decent minimum wage or low income supplement so people who do work really do earn a fair bit more than people on welfare.   

post #631 of 792

With regard to clothing: In order to move into the type of job that pays enough for self-sufficiency, one must project a certain image. Thrift store stuff is fine, but it really must fit, be in good repair, and be contemporary (though not necessarily cutting-edge trendy). Hair matters too.

 

I have been fortunate enough to find a few things at a local women's organization donation place, but a lot of it has been obviously dated and/or in poor repair. Where I live, self-sufficiency begins in the 40-50000/year range for a single parent with a couple of kids, and I'm not going to land a job making that if I'm wearing ill-fitting clothing that isn't in excellent shape and I haven't got a decent pair of shoes and a tidy hair cut.
 

post #632 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by glassesgirlnj View Post

Pek, "temporary" means "having a defined end point", doesn't it? I think my answer defined four different end points. Is there something else I can do to help clarify?
I was discussing this thread with my spouse, who made an interesting point - most public assistance / social welfare programs were created not to help the poor, but to protect the rich from getting carted off in tumbrels. What would our society look like if we *didn't* have these programs? (Sure, you could live in a gated community with all the weapons you could stockpile - and then you could hire Tyler Durden as your security guard, I guess...)
Just something for people who want to place more limits on government assistance to think about.

I am certainly not suggesting gated communities. That would not solve any of the problems mentioned throughout the thread.

I *am* asking clarifying questions to see if we are more in sync than the words and emotions imply.

I want to know if your definition of temporary assistance includes the child's whole lifetime, or if you hadn't thought about that.

There is no judgment or implying a right answer in my motives. I am gathering information that I hope can lead to a more respectful discussion.
post #633 of 792
Ha, I keep getting sucked back into this thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

That would mean 'temporary' could be 18 or more years. That's how long a child is a minor.

If it goes beyond 10 years, is that temporary, or a lifestyle choice?

I think it's probably neither. Most people don't freely choose to live in poverty their whole life. It's not like they have a set of wonderful choices available to them. They are choosing between welfare and homelessness, starvation, sickness, and death. What kind of choice is that?

And I guess I don't really feel that welfare needs to be temporary, though in most cases it does end up being short-term.

I'd define temporary as: as long as it takes a family to get back on their feet. For some that is a few months or a year or two while they're between jobs or dealing with medical/mental/family issues. For others it will be 3, 5, maybe even 10+ years while their children are young. And yes, maybe even 18+ years. Some might need 5-10 years while they go back to school and find a better-paying job. Some might need 20+ years of help before they are capable of rebuilding their lives. Even then though, they'd still have a good 30 years of being in the workforce. Temporary by definition means "not permanent." (You could have a "temp" job that lasts years & years, or a "temporary" foster child placement that lasts 'til the child is 18.) It doesn't necessarily mean "short-term," just "not permanent." So as long as someone eventually gets off welfare, I'd say it's temporary. And I trust people to know what they need and do their best to get it.

There is a subset of people on welfare who may never get off it. They may be facing generational poverty, poor support, insufficient resources, and/or a lack of education. They may have physical challenges, mental challenges, or psychological issues. For them, welfare can't really be temporary. They need, and will likely always need, long-term/permanent assistance. And I have absolutely no problem with that -- well, aside from hoping that we as a society can do more to help and support them than just toss a few dollars on an EBT card at them once a month. The permanence of their need doesn't make them any less deserving of that aid. It may be a failing of the system that we're not able to provide more for them, but it's not "fraud" or a "lifestyle choice" for these people to accept help that they simply can't live without.
post #634 of 792

Yes, I think temporary assistance should continue throughout childhood (I'm assuming you didn't mean an entire lifetime of 60-100 years...) ;)

This would be so the *child* is not punished for the situation she was born into. HTH!
post #635 of 792
Generational poor. I think this might be at the heart of the dispute.

Helping the generational poor is a complex issue. I think what is causing some concern is a *new* group of generational poor. Folks receiving assistance without caring to better their situation, and possibly teaching their children to do the same.

Are all receiving assistance guilty of not trying to make their lives better? Certainly NOT! I think, if we can put aside the emotions this discussion has raised, we might agree that, while assistance is needed, some abuse the system.

I think our main difference is how many we each believe may be abusing the system. I think another difference is whether or not the abuses are enough to take a critical look at the system to see if corrections can be made. And the biggest difference is probably that the assistance available is different for each of us, because we live in different places.
post #636 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by glassesgirlnj View Post

Yes, I think temporary assistance should continue throughout childhood (I'm assuming you didn't mean an entire lifetime of 60-100 years...) wink1.gif
This would be so the *child* is not punished for the situation she was born into. HTH!

You understood my meaning. Thanks for the clarification.

No matter how well I think I've worded something, it seems there is always room for misunderstanding. Ah, well.
post #637 of 792

i want to point out something(s): 

1.) depending on what you see in your life, it can color your view of the whole picture. serenat has apparently seen LOADS of people abusing the "welfare" system and it has colored her view of all the people who use it. when i worked in hospitals i swear i thought old ages was a miserable. nasty, slow spiral into death with lots of pain and suffering; because honestly healthy people tend to NOT go to the hospital. and a lot of people in the hospital are old. it wasn't until i stepped away that i saw that  HEY old age doesn't have to equal endless suffering. you can actually be healthy, strong,mentally there and be 90 years old.

2.) although it isn't always true... a large majority of generational poor are minorities. whether we like it or not, here in america there is a big problem with our history and our treatment of people who where not white. it can be hard to pull yourself out of your history. i mean how many of us here on mothering.com are working on our own person history? trying to over come abuse,bad choices our parents made, learning and growing and being better parents even though our history is not so hot. now imagine on top of that abuse by our government, that really was just dealt with about a generation ago. (and we expect the next generation to just be over it and just move on)

post #638 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

no I'm not and you mustn't know states do have flexibility

 

I assumed you were in Florida because earlier in this thread when you were complaining about the rampant abuse of welfare in your state, you linked to several stories about food stamp fraud in Florida.

 

I do realize that states have some flexibility when it comes to administering the federally-capped 60-month time limit on funds. States have their own, state-funded programs that may cover welfare recipients after they have exhausted their 60 months under the federally-funded program. The social workers also have the ability to grant exemptions and extensions to the 60-month mandate, but this is on a case-by-case basis. Extensions are shorter periods of continued benefits, but if an exemption is granted it can last much longer--depending upon the condition for which the exemption was granted. Exemptions are typically granted for reasons such as having to care for an ill or incapacitated family member, being the victim off domestic violence, being a minor parent (typically these parents have to be enrolled in school or a GED program to receive extensions.) Some states grant extensions to parents with newborn children, but CA can grant an extension to someone caring for a child 24 months old or younger! Most generous state of all of them, most of the others only grant extensions for caregivers of children 1-3 months old.) Extensions are only considered for something like 20% of welfare recipients.

 

Still, I don't see how anyone could think that the majority of welfare recipients are just riding the gravy train for 15+ years. That simply does not seem possible for the vast majority of recipients.

 

Additionally, many states have Family Capping policies, which "prevent or limit an increase in a family’s benefit when another child is born. In these states, the benefit increase an assistance unit would otherwise receive for adding another member to the unit will be limited. Some states provide a percentage of the increase to the unit, while others provide no additional funds to the unit for the addition of a child."  This is supposed to prevent the phenomenon that serenbat has referred to, in which welfare recipients who are nearing the end of their eligibility choose to have another child in order to extend their benefits.


http://anfdata.urban.org/databooks/Welfare%20Rules%20Databook%202011_final%20text.pdf

post #639 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post

OK, I have a question about this story. Was your fiancé married to this woman for most of the years her children were growing up? Did she have a lot of education before she married and chose to stay home 17 years ago? When you say "chooses to live on stamps and assistance," to what extent are her choices in the present determined by her past choice to marry and have four children when she was younger? (I'm assuming this person is your boyfriend's ex-spouse, but maybe not.) 

 

Because, see, I have a graduate degree and I've been having a hard time finding a full-time job. I'm doing the WAHM thing and just about making ends meet with a home business and a lot of part-time contract work. Are there lots of jobs for women who haven't been in the workforce for most of their lives? Can this woman "choose" to leave public housing and go buy a house somewhere? I'm just curious, since you're so intimately involved with this one. Is she really "choosing" to live on food stamps? (I'm assuming she's not receiving TANF if she isn't working because TANF has a work requirement.) 


no he was married for 2 years to the children's mother before realizing it was not going to work due to her lack of wanting to work. he is only the father of the 9 and 10 year old.No education, dropped out of high school at 16 while pregnant, went back and did get her GED, but dose not wish to work, and she has said it herself, not just me assuming it. When I say chooses i mean chooses, she dose not want to work, her mother received assistance and such while she was growing up and she followed her suit.

 

I believe any one can choose to leave low income housing but you have to make the choice to make your life better. If you do not have the education already go to school while on assistance. In Michigan you can do this, but a lot do not.

 

Again yes she chooses to live on stamps she dose not want to work and has said so.

 

I also have 3 degrees, I have a daughter of my own, 2 step daughters that I care very much for, a house I pay for, food I pay for, bills I pay. I work a full time job and go to school to complete my bachelors degree. I have worked since i was 16 years old and paid and earned all that I have. My parents both worked when I was growing up and even though they were not with me every day all day I learned everyone has to work if they want a better life, if not you are where you are. But everyone can change their life and situation, you just have to do so.

post #640 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by couldbebetter29 View Post

 

 

I believe any one can choose to leave low income housing but you have to make the choice to make your life better. If you do not have the education already go to school while on assistance. In Michigan you can do this, but a lot do not.

 

Having worked for housing authority, I respectfully disagree. A great many of the clients I saw were genuinely disabled and either unable to work at all or unable to earn sufficient income to support themselves outside of subsidized housing. Not everyone lives close to a university or community college, and not everyone is capable of earning a higher education degree.

 

Subsidized housing is not pleasant and disability is not sufficient income for living well.

 

I agree that it is possible to move from subsidized housing and other benefits, but I disagree that anyone can.

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